This introductory chapter discusses alter-globalization movements in the late 1990s, criticizing the commonly held belief that neoliberal globalization would hollow out trade unions, undermine state protections, and place national working classes in competition with one another for scarce jobs. This movement questioned the supposed fixity of labor within the national context, and asserted that unions are forging a new frontier within an old tradition—global unions for the global age. Given that scholars have overlooked many details regarding the increasing tendency of labor politics to “go global,” the book examines how transnational campaigns empower or inspire local movements. In addition, the campaigns studied are inspired by global priorities and yet have empowered local struggles.
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